Lately, I've seen a few things about depression online and they've got me thinking. The talented Allie of Hyperbole and a Half wrote about her long, staggering bout of depression that she's still getting over. And I'm glad she is.
On Tumblr, I read about people who are being treated as not in need of help because while they are depressed, they don't self harm.
And I find that to be hurtful. Just because I don't wear physical scars does not mean that I've not got scars on my mind. Depression is not something to ignore just because I don't react the way that someone else expects me to.
I imagine that everyone who suffers from depression long term comes to a point where they want to give up. I did. It was difficult to just keep doing the very little that I was doing. And the only thing that provided me with hope each week was prayer night (praying for a local ministry). The only reason I didn't end up just laying in bed for about a month straight (other than trips to the bathroom) was because of prayer night.
But I didn't hurt myself. The worst I did was not eat enough. I ended up losing 15 pounds because of it.
I spent days laying in bed, watching tv, not caring about anything. I had no passion. And the only times I felt normal were times Ace was home from driving.
I needed help. I needed someone to know that I needed help and to get it for me, because I wasn't comfortable asking for it.
I hate to think that if someone had gotten me the help I desperately needed (and wanted) that I would have been turned away because I wasn't harming myself. I hate to think that we don't take depression seriously as a problem unless someone is harming themselves or considering suicide. I hate to think that we are hurting people that are already hurting because we don't believe them when they say that want help because they aren't doing what we expect them to.
We need to remember that people have emotional and mental scars too. That not all scars are physical. That someone can be hurting or numb and need help without any outward signs.
I am glad Allie got help. I wish I had gotten help. I'm thankful for the people who reminded me of my blessings when I couldn't see them (by asking what was going on in my life). And I hope that we can help people more often when they are hurting this way.